The phone has come a long way since my memory of our phone back in Haskell, Oklahoma. I was 4 when we got dial phones. Over 50 years later I still remember before the dial phone, our number was 32 and the phone number of my grandfather’s drug store was 22. When we lifted the receiver, an operator would come on the line and connect us to the party we were calling. And then there were the party lines. That didn’t go away in my area until the 60’s. Today we use phones with many times the computing power that took us too the moon in 1969.
Having said all that, may I present one of 1964’s stupidest invention:
#22 – PHONE ANSWERING ROBOT
Forget the tape machine with the micro tape that was always jamming. The phone answering robot preceded that one by several years. And yes, it could answer the phone, but there was one glaring problem.
It had no voice.
It could only physically pick up the handset. Even then there was no guarantee it could put the handset back in its cradle.
Stupid beyond belief.